Shortness of Breath Casues, Symptons and Treatment – Best 4 Remedies
Shortness of breath and cough are one of those symptoms that should never be ignored, as they can give you an indication of one or more serious underlying issues. Usually, these problems are directly related to the condition of your heart and lungs, but they can also occur due to other disorders. In case of other factors accompanying these signs, getting yourself checked by a doctor can help in narrowing down the list of possibilities.
Shortness of breath definition – An Overview
The breath shortness, also known by the name of dyspnea, happens to many people periodically and is primarily a result of factors like physical exertion. In such a condition, the body is unable to circulate, or even intake, the sufficient amount of oxygen supply that your body needs, which is directly related to the electrolytes present in the body.
As electrolytes balance the transmission of electrical signal impulses and the volume of blood to keep the heart beating in a rhythmic pattern, so a minor misbalance in the electrolytes can lead to breathing shortness. Moreover, it can also cause arrhythmia, the condition in which the heartbeat gets abnormal.
Causes of shortness of breath you should know
It is pretty common for breath shortness to accompany two or more symptoms of muscle aches and fatigue. More than often cases of such signs occurring in a parallel manner have been diagnosed to be of seasonal flu, but there is a possibility of a much underlying severe problem like bronchitis, bacterial or viral infection, pneumonia or even heart-related issues.
Sign of shortness of breath – Seasonal Flu
The transmission of seasonal flu virus takes place through the droplets of spittle or mucus and typically gets passed by coughing or sneezing while being in proximity to other people. The flu often comes with a fever, which leads to the muscle aching. Furthermore, when the body’s immune system tries to fight the infection, the malaise and fatigue start taking over the body.
Sign of shortness of breath – Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
COPD, also known by the name of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, possesses two variants: Chronic Bronchitis and Emphysema. This means that the person who falls prey to COPD gets both elements. Just as the name suggests, in Chronic Bronchitis, the bronchitis of the person narrows, which in turn makes it much more difficult for the air transfer to take place between the atmosphere and the lungs. The mucus in the mouth, then, starts plugging up the narrowed down airways.
Emphysema, on the other hand, indicates the loss of working tissues of the lungs. Due to this failure, the exchange of gases like oxygen and carbon dioxide between the lungs and atmosphere doesn’t take place as efficiently as it should. So, it becomes difficult for the body to compensate for the higher oxygen demand, particularly during exertion, which leads to shortness of breath and tiredness.
Doctors usually characterize it by a gradually worsening situation of breath shortening on exertion along with phlegm while coughing. The condition develops of the prolonged exposure to the smoke of cigarettes.
Sign of shortness of breath – Asthma
Pretty similar to Chronic Bronchitis, but the difference between asthma and the former one lies in how it gets triggered. In case of asthma, the common triggering factors are dust, animals, weather, exercise and even smoke. As soon as it starts, the airways constrict thus leading to breath shortness. An acute level of an asthma attack is identified by coughing, breath shortening and wheezing. Even though, it can worsen with time by smoking but isn’t a result of it.
Sign of shortness of breath – Congestive Heart Failure
The heart is responsible for pumping the blood in the body. For the purpose, it pushes the blood towards the lungs, where blood picks up oxygen and takes it to the rest of the body, for which oxygen is pre-requisite for survival. In case of the improper functioning of the heart, the reverse process can also happen, i.e., the fluid can enter the lungs.
This can, consequently, lead to insufficient oxygenation of blood, thus causing cough and breath shortness. One of the most common reasons that can result in such a situation is congestive heart failure, which usually happens because of the damage to small arteries going into the heart or from a lifetime of hypertension (also known by the name of High Blood Pressure).
Sign of shortness of breath – Acute Lung Infections
Many acute lung infections like Pneumonia can also cause breath shortness along with a cough. The main triggering factor of pneumonia is fungus, bacteria or virus, and as this disease disrupts the normal exchange of oxygen, which takes place in a healthy lung, the symptoms mentioned above can also result from it. A cough is, in fact, a typical reaction to getting the foreign thing out of the lung, if it finds its way towards the lungs. Pneumonia can also produce fever.
Yet another type of acute lung infection, Pertussis (more commonly known as a whooping cough), causes shortness of breath and chest pain, along with accompanying intense coughing. In this situation, the coughing usually lasts for a few minutes at a time and is characterized by a sound, “whoop”, which gets generated due to quick and deep inhaling.
Sign of shortness of breath – Lung Tumors
The noncancerous and cancerous tumors in the lungs can irritate the airways by blocking them, thus resulting in breath shortness and cough. Cancerous tumors arise from within the lungs or can get to the lungs from other organs, like breast or prostate. Other signs of lungs cancer include fatigue, coughing up blood and unintended weight loss.
Top 4 Natural Treatment Shortness of Breath
Just like every other disease, breath shortness can also be treated with the help of medications and home remedies. Experts, however, recommend going with the later one, as they can take a long time but are safe and free from side effects.
Pursed lip breathing
Though simple, yet the most effective method to deal with shortness of breath when talking is by slowing the pace of breathing, which makes each and every breath more effective by letting it get deeper. It also assists in releasing the trapped air present in the lungs.
- Relax your shoulder muscles and neck
- Breath in a slow and continuous manner through your nose for about two counts, while keeping your mouth closed.
- Bring both of your lips closer to each other, as if you are about to whistle
- Now slowly breath out all of the air to the count of four.
Standing with Supported Back
Standing can also help you in relaxing your airways and lungs, along with your body. For the purpose, follow the procedure to attain a particular stance needed for this treatment:
- Face away, while standing near a wall
- Rest your hips by supporting them on the wall
- Keep your feet at a distance equal to your shoulders
- Put your hands on your thighs and let them rest
- With relaxed shoulders, lean a little bit forward
- Dangle your arms in the front
You can also try to rest while keeping your body relaxed, when sitting, and can make your breathing easier.
- On a chair, sit with your feet placed flat on the floor
- Lean your chest slightly in the forward direction
- Let your elbows rest on your knees
- Using your hands, hold your chin
- Don’t forget to keep your shoulder and neck muscles relaxed
Change in lifestyle
Just as we have mentioned before, there can be many possible reasons behind the breath shortness and its accompanying symptoms. Some of these reasons may require emergency care, while other cases can be treated at home with a little change in lifestyle.
- Avoid smoking tobacco
- Avoid exposure to allergens, pollutants and environmental toxins
- Try losing your weight, if you are overweight or obese
- Don’t try to exert at higher elevations
- Keep your body healthy by getting enough sleep, eating well and visiting a doctor to unveil any underlying medical problems
- For Bronchitis, COPD and asthma, follow the recommended treatment plans and get yourself checked by a medical expert
It is important to remember that only a doctor can diagnose the true reason for your shortness of breath. So, if you are feeling chest pain, can’t get enough oxygen or are suffering from a medical emergency; unlock the door and call 911.